Ancient History

Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of recorded human history to the Early Middle Ages. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, with Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing, from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC. This is the beginning of history, as opposed to prehistory, according to the definition used by most historians.

The term classical antiquity is often used to refer to history in the Old World from the beginning of recorded Greek history in 776 BC (First Olympiad). This roughly coincides with the traditional date of the founding of Rome in 753 BC, the beginning of the history of ancient Rome, and the beginning of the Archaic period in Ancient Greece. Although the ending date of ancient history is disputed, some Western scholars use the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, the closure of the Platonic Academy in 529 AD, the death of the emperor Justinian I, the coming of Islam or the rise of Charlemagne as the end of ancient and Classical European history.

In India, the period includes the early period of the Middle Kingdoms, and, in China, the time up to the Qin Dynasty is included.

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Famous quotes containing the words ancient history, history and/or ancient:

    Ancient history has an air of antiquity. It should be more modern. It is written as if the specator should be thinking of the backside of the picture on the wall, or as if the author expected that the dead would be his readers, and wished to detail to them their own experience.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    ... in America ... children are instructed in the virtues of the system they live under, as though history had achieved a happy ending in American civics.
    Mary McCarthy (1912–1989)

    Today, as you know, I am famous and very rich. But when I am alone with myself, I haven’t the courage to consider myself an artist, in the great and ancient sense of that word ... I am only a public entertainer, who understands his age.
    Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)